Unbeaten Russia to play France in world hockey quarters


The Sports Network

Minsk, Belarus (SportsNetwork.com) - Russia claimed a 2-1 victory over Belarus on the final day of the preliminary round of the 2014 World Hockey Championship.

Sergei Plotnikov and Vadim Shipachyov lit the lamp for the Russians, who got 19 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky.

Russia won all seven of its matches during preliminary round action to finish atop Group B with 21 points. They will face France in Thursday's quarterfinals.

Vladimir Denisov scored the lone goal for Belarus, which ended third in Group B and will take on defending champion Sweden in the quarters.

The Czech Republic needed overtime to beat France by a 5-4 margin on Tuesday. Jan Kolar scored the game-winning goal 2:19 into the extra session.

The Czechs will next play the United States, which posted a 5-4 win over Germany on Tuesday. Justin Abdelkader scored twice and Johnny Gaudreau contributed a goal with three assists for the Americans.

Tim Thomas made 24 saves for the United States, which finished second in Group B with 14 points.

Switzerland claimed a 3-2 win over Latvia, giving Finland a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Swiss opened a 3-0 lead on Tuesday and held on for the victory to end fifth in the Group B standings. Latvia, with a win in regulation or overtime, would have edged Finland for fourth in the group to earn a spot in the round of eight.

Instead, Finland finished fourth and will take on Canada in the quarterfinals.

Canada won Group A on Tuesday with a 3-2 triumph over Norway. Joel Ward scored twice for the Canadiens, including the winner on a third-period power play, and added an assist. James Reimer turned aside 14 shots for Canada, who won their last six games of the round-robin after opening with a shootout loss to France.

In another Group A game from Tuesday, Slovakia earned a 4-3 win over Denmark. Both teams had previously been eliminated from quarterfinal contention.

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